Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Cover design: Unreadable title edition

Observe this cover:

Who thought that breaking “inhabited” into two pieces and hypenating them was a good idea? Why did this person think that was a good idea? Why did the editorial staff sign off on this notion?

Is there anyone — anyone at all — who thinks this works well?

Here’s another:

Who took a minute to read this? I saw both “Glue” and “Glub” before I figured out the last word is “Club.” I wonder if the “G” in “Girls” paved the way for seeing a “G” in the third word of the title as well. Was that just me? Did anybody else stutter visually over this title?

Other than the title, I sort of like this cover, actually. I don’t like anything about cover of The Inhabited Island, but I like the colors and the jungly plant thing in The Dead Girl’s Club.

Here’s another:

Thumbs up or thumbs down on that one? Is it at all difficult to read the title? I found my eye stumbling over that thumbprint. I don’t immediately perceive that this is the word “Anyone.” Granted, it didn’t make me stumble as badly as The Dead Girls Club.

I personally think there’s a lot to be said for a completely readable title. There are plenty of ways to be artistic with the title without making the reader pause to figure it out. Like this one:

That’s simple, artistic, and instantly readable. Maybe cover designers should try for something more like this when they’re going for creative, interesting ways to handle the title on the cover.

All these are from the latest mailing from the Science Fiction Book Club. That “Inhabited Island” is so bad it made me pay attention to cover design in general throughout the mailing. Still a lot of black and very dark and monochromatic covers, I notice. But it was definitely title design that caught my eye this time.

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